POSTED: Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 3:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 3:04am
Baton Rouge, La — The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s (DOTD) John James Audubon Bridge was recently honored with the “Best Transportation Project” award by the Texas/Louisiana Engineering News Record (ENR). The award is one of 19 “Best of the Best Projects” presented annually in various categories to honor outstanding construction projects nationwide.
DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas said, “I am honored that the John James Audubon Bridge was chosen for this award, and I am extremely proud of this beautiful new structure. By using the design-build process for construction of this project, the Louisiana DOTD achieved maximum cost-savings and efficiency.”
The John James Audubon Bridge is one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the Western Hemisphere and is also the first Design-Build project undertaken by the department. The new bridge over the Mississippi River includes almost 12 miles of new roadways leading up to the bridge and connects Point Coupee and West Feliciana parishes. Construction on the $409 million bridge began in May 2006 and ended in an emergency effort in May 2011. DOTD expedited the opening of the new bridge in May 2011 due to flooding on the Mississippi River.
The new bridge has improved freight and commerce efficiency for major industries. Without the bridge, travelers and freight haulers added 25-30 miles to their trip. Reduced freight travel time cuts down on costs that would otherwise be directly passed on to consumers, and reduces fuel emissions.
The John James Audubon Bridge was a part of the Louisiana Transportation Infrastructure Model for Economic Development (TIMED) program, the single largest transportation program in the state’s history. DOTD partnered with Audubon Bridge Constructors (ABC), a joint venture of Flatiron Corporation, Granite Construction, and Parsons Transportation Group to construct the new bridge.